- Incoming President Duterte expressed all-out support to Gilas Pilipinas
- Duterte was invited by SBP President Manny V. Pangilinan to grace the FIBA OQT that will be held at SM Mall of Asia on July
- SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios gave Duterte an official FIBA OQT ball
Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his all-out support to Gilas Pilipinas, the men’s national basketball team of the Philippines, as well as to the country’s hosting of FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) that will start on July 5.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Executive Director Sonny Barrios went to Davao City to personally hand SBP President Manny V. Pangilinan’s (MVP) invitation to Duterte to grace the FIBA OQT, which will be held at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
“I just hand-carried handwritten MVP invite to him to the July OQT. I gave him an official OQT ball. He then autographed personal best wishes dedication to MVP on another ball,” Barrios told Philstar.
Barrios said Duterte has yet to commit to watch the games live, but expressed his all-out support to the endeavor.
“If his schedule will allow him. He cannot commit yet but he is very supportive of the OQT and Gilas Pilipinas,” Barrios said, when asked if Duterte will attend the Fiba Manila OQT.
Spin.ph said Barrios shared Duterte is a basketball fan.
“Very much so, but he joked na ‘mas madalas daw siya talo,’” Barrios recalled of his conversation with Duterte, who has a basketball tournament named after him held annually in Davao City.